Happy Halloween Readers,
Today is the final day of classical monsters’ week and we are looking at the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Also, today is my second day at Alton Towers Scarefest check out my Instagram for Vlogs.
This is such a short book (88 pages) but don’t let that pull the wool over your eyes. The novella crams a complete, fully-fleshed story by using a magnificent dual of points of view changes, dialogue and flashback. I love Victorian horror it's so weird and wild and all about challenging social norms. In lesser hands, the amount of information and story contained in this tale would have required a lot more paper.
There’s a reason this novella has stood the test of time - it is creepy and interesting as hell. In addition to being a model of bluntness and for me it adds to the enjoyment of the story. There's a lot of discussion and symbolism in the book about dual natures: the city itself, and even Jekyll's home which shows how good and bad can co-existing side by side. Dr Henry Jekyll is a brilliant man who in the course of trying to understand the human psyche has turned himself into a guinea pig for his experiments. He has unleashed a power from within that is turning out to be too formidable to be properly contained.
I think there’s something terrifying about the idea of losing humanity and sanity, at first due to your own choices but later because of forces, you cannot control. It is still a chilling thought to acknowledge that we all have “polar twins" that are "continuously struggling" in order to both satisfy self and present well in society.
Jekyll begins to revert to Hyde without taking any of his potion. He continually wakes up as Hyde until, one day, there is no Dr Jekyll. It is as though he has never existed, and Mr Hyde is all that is left of him.
Overall, this is one of those classics that lives up to its name and rightfully belongs among the highlights of gothic fiction.